Sound and audio can be powerful, moving and engaging. Everyone appreciates that, including content marketers. In fact, audio in its many guises is becoming an increasingly important way of reaching people, and this is likely to continue in 2021. If you’re unconvinced consider this:
Podcasts are no longer just a geeky alternative to video
Around 7.1 million people in the UK now listen to podcasts each week.
They’re easy to produce – using software to record them remotely – and then consume (while driving, cooking or whatever).
Podcasts seem to have come into their own during lockdown in the first part of 2020, when BBC Sounds, for example, reported record listening figures.
Find your niche and consider whether a podcast could fit into your strategy.
People, sometimes, want a break from screens
In an age of overload, consumers are demanding a break from screens. Spotify quizzed Gen Z and millennials and 56% said audio provided a welcome distraction from too much visual stimulation.
Give them a break.
Voice assistants are your friend
There are 4.2 billion voice assistants in use in 2020 and 41% of people who own a smart speaker say it feels like talking to a friend.
As a starting point, you can optimise your content so it stands a better chance of featuring on voice search queries with the likes of Alexa and Siri.
Publishers are investing to turn print into audio
The BBC, Apple News+ and the Washington Post have all in the past few months rolled out new ways to listen to their written articles. “We conducted user research and learned that users want to stay informed but are busy, so they appreciate an option to get up to speed on the latest news developments while cooking dinner, running errands or exercising,” the Washington Post’s Emily Chow told the newspaper.
Offering an audio version of written content can improve engagement. In the US, for example, Rock Content increased blog average time on page by 10% with the introduction of audio players in their blog posts.
YouTube is taking audio seriously too
The video platform announced in November that it’s trialling audio ad products, in a bid to monetise YouTube users who listen rather than watch. Google claims that its testing has shown that more than 75% of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.
…so is Twitter
Twitter is trialling exclusive voice chat rooms. As the Verge reported, part of the theory behind this move is to provide another avenue for users to have conversations on the platform — but without harassment and abuse.
So, the likes of Google, Twitter and the BBC are taking audio seriously. Will you in 2021? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t know where to start.